Hi! We're Tiny Hearts, an award-winning app studio based in Toronto. We dream up & ship playful apps like InstaMatch and Pocket Zoo!
InstaMatch Is An Insta-Hit!
We released our latest app InstaMatch - The Instagram Game a month ago and man has it been an amazing experience! It’s safe to say that our first game has become somewhat of an insta-hit with the press, Apple and our customers from all over the world.
The making of InstaMatch started off as a partnership between two fans of instagram: Jeremy (@samuraicode) and I (@robjama). Our goal was to add some more fun to the Instagram experience by turning it into a beautiful game. We spent many long days and nights polishing and crafting InstaMatch to a point where we were proud enough to share it with the world…so it’s really humbling to see all of the great reviews and feedback so far. Here’s the launch recap:
InstaMatch received some amazing coverage at launch from Techcrunch, Revision 3 (video review at 1:43), Swissmiss, Coolhunting, Kotaku and TUAW who called InstaMatch “a gotta-buy app for gamers lovers any age.”
One of the major benefits of getting good press is that it puts you on Apple’s radar increasing your chances of getting a coveted iTunes App Store feature. Thankfully, the folks at Apple thought highly enough of InstaMatch to feature it as a New & Noteworthy, Staff Favorite and What’s Hot app in a bunch of countries!
This is only the beginning for InstaMatch! We’ve already updated the graphics for the new iPad’s retina display and are working on adding new themes & features along with a free version of the game. Follow us on twitter @tinyheartsyou to get latest updates!
What Happens When You Make Your Paid App Free?
We were feeling very generous over at the tiny hearts studio and decided to make Pocket Zoo HD free for one day as apart of the Moms With Apps weekly #AppFriday promo. Moms With Apps is an awesome developer group we’re apart of that’s made up of family-friendly developers making and promoting quality apps for kids and families.
What Happens When You Make Your Paid App Free
So what happens when you take an app that’s $2.99 on the iPad App Store and make it free for a day. This…
Promoting Your Free Promo
Pocket Zoo HD quickly climbed to the top of the free Education category all over the world and slowly started appearing in top overall free charts as well. It’s no surprise that people love free on the App Store but even a free promotion needs promotion.
We got the word out via the weekly App Friday post over at the MWA blog. App Friday is a weekly sale promotion that highlights apps from 3 or 4 developers and encourages the community to share the deals through Twitter and Facebook. The post Pocket Zoo HD was featured in was shared close to a 1000 times and that’s not counting all the #AppFriday mentions on twitter that were linking to Facebook or directly to iTunes. MWA is not only a great community for kid-friendly developers but it’s also a great avenue to promote relevant apps.
We also reached out to the guys over at AppAdvice.com, one of the larger app review sites. They have a regular series called iOS Apps Gone Free which we’ve appeared in previously for our iPhone version. Pocket Zoo HD received a mention on the Apps Gone Free post helping to boost us up the charts.
Gizmodo also features App Deals of the Day as apart of their daily Dealzmodo guide. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a mention on the Giz. But that didn’t hinder our chart mojo.
Don’t forget to update your app description - you want to call out the fact that your app is free at the top of the description while mentioning the original price.
Before we knew it we blew past the Twitter app on the top free chart and made it to the Top 50 overall…briefly inching past Evernote and Flipboard.
What Kind of Numbers Do You Need To Make the Top Free Charts
At the end of the day, Pocket Zoo HD was the #1 Free Education app in the US and had reached the Top 50 overall with a total of 4,000 US downloads. The grand total for the day, including the rest of the world was 6,000 units. These numbers are for the iPad - I’m pretty sure the iPhone charts require hundreds of thousands of downloads before you start ranking near the top.
Why Even Make Your App Free
Free is a great way to acquire new users. We participated in an #AppFriday promo last year with iPhone version of Pocket Zoo and saw 13,000 downloads in one day (ironically it was on Friday September the 13th).Needless to say, we saw a large lift in sales after the free promotion. That was our main goal with the free Pocket Zoo HD promo…to get new people using our app with the hope that the increase in engagement and visibility in the charts would lead to word of mouth which is one of the most effective ways to promote an app. There are risks involved with going from the paid to free and back to paid. Jumping from one chart to the other means that you need to start from scratch in terms of the rankings & downloads as the numbers from one chart don’t carry over to the other. This is why your free promotion needs a lot of promotion…and when your app goes back to paid you need to promote it even more but hopefully by then you’ll have a few thousand people helping you spread the word.
Pocket Zoo for iPad on the App store and All over the Web!
Time really does fly when you’re having fun! It’s already been a month since Pocket Zoo HD debuted on the iPad App Store. In many ways Pocket Zoo is more suited for the iPad form factor - whether it’s exploring the virtual zoo, viewing photos, videos or the live streams. This is why we decided to revisit the Pocket Zoo UI and completely rebuild it with a custom interface for the iPad.
In terms of content, Pocket Zoo HD is jam-packed with even more animals, more cams and videos. Plus, a brand new feature that allows you to donate to your favorite zoos by adopting animals.
Here’s a rundown of the features:
- 35+ live animal cams (now with a new grid view that let’s you view 9 cams at a glance)
- 200+ amazing wildlife videos
- HD virtual zoo with 50+ original animal illustrations
- Real animal sounds, teacher-approved fun facts and animal details
- Adopt an animal from your favorite zoo
- Free illustrated wallpapers featuring the Pingwin (@happybird) and the rest of the Pocket Zoo crew
We’re blown away by the great press and reviews we’ve seen so far:
- App Advice
- 148 Apps
- Wired Geekdad
- iPhone Mom
- iPadinfo.nl (Netherlands)
- iPadnet.it (Italy)
- TiPb (iPhone version)
As always…thanks for your continued support!
Thanks A Billion!
Over 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store…that’s a mindbogling number!!
We’re honoured that Pocket Zoo™ was able to get a fraction of those and are even more excited by the fact that we are able to put smiles on the faces of animal lovers, young and old. Our app has been able to bring families a little closer together and connect us all with the beautiful creatures we share our world with. We’re committed to doing our part to encourage and promote conservation efforts through our partnership with 1% For The Planet.
Thanks to all of our happy fans for the rave reviews on the App Store - currently 4.5 stars. We absolutely love reading the reviews and the emails you send us. Thanks again for letting us share our passion with you and for choosing Pocket Zoo!
What’s next? The wildest app on the App Store is going to be coming to an iPad near you.